Intel's network of research labs in Europe now embraces more than 4,000 R&D professionals and has more than quadrupled in size since its formation in January 2009. The question that remains is: where is the return on investment for Intel and the benefit for Europe?
So where are the examples where Intel in the last three years has made a difference?
Professor Curley said one concrete example is the Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI) specification being worked on with IBM and VmWare. He also indicates that Intel Labs Europe will start to create spin-off startup companies, or help to grow startups that spin-off from other institutions. However, for now he provides no names.
One of the bigger projects that falls under Intel Labs Europe is the smart cities initiative launched in May 2012. The cluster of projects being undertaken jointly with University College London and Imperial College intends to use London as a test bed for a number of experiments in such areas as: energy positive infrastructure, personal energy consumption, smart-grid systems and sustainable mobility. Indeed Dublin is already being used to help formulate some of the experiments prior to larger-scale roll out in London.
If that all feels like a limited return that is long on aspiration and short on cash after nearly four years' effort then it must be remembered that ILE is limited by one aspect of the Intel machine.
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The Sustainable Connected Cities project is based in London but with preliminary work being done in Dublin, Ireland.
While long-range research may be collaborative and open as Professor Curley indicates, as that research shows promise and gets near-term Intel can draw it back into its private environment which is still tightly closed.
And as Professor Curley concluded: "Waiting is costly. The opportunity of a lifetime has to be taken in the lifetime of that opportunity."
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